|Index||2 reviews in total|
Stories of domestic abuse are often so unreal or surreal, if/when they
are made into movies they often come off as unbelievable or too
melodramatic, leaving the facts of the case alone to provide the
emotional impact. The aesthetics of the film itself seem less of a
priority. The acting and direction of Night and Fog are so pitch
perfect, that even though the story starts at the end so we know the
result and it's unraveled through flashbacks and police interrogations,
it plays out like a mystery. It's not the what of what happened but the
how of what happened that compels. And don't write off Jingchu Zhang as
just another pretty face. She nails the part of an ambitious peasant
girl from the heartland, in this case Sichuan, who appears to have made
it to the top by marrying a Hong Kong man. Her sisters made it only
halfway, marrying men from the industrial Shenzhen. This is the ladder
of success many young women from the disadvantaged rural areas attempt
to climb. No matter that many of the men they pursue, especially the
ones from Hong Kong, might already have a wife.
Director Ann Hui places the micro of domestic abuse into a wider macro social context with such honesty it's scary. The film reveals a plight of a segment of the Chinese population it hurts to know about. Hui pushes hard on the social buttons of an issue that many would like to ignore, but that's what gives the film its power. This is one of the more painfully sad films I've seen in a long time. I put it on when it was already way past my bed time, thinking I'd just get a feel for it and fall asleep. Well, a feel for it I got, and ended up staring at it, bug-eyed, the entire two hour runtime.
By introducing the ending at the beginning of the film, the Director Ann Hui cleverly focuses on the unfolding of a family tragedy and the deterioration of a fraught relationship. The result is an extremely powerful drama, delivered by an astonishing cast. Simon Yam and Zhang Jingchu are simply BRILLIANT...I can't even describe their performance with words. If you are a genuine cinema verite fan, this cannot be missed, it will be a great pity if this film is avoided because of the subject matter, as it is a lot more. Its impact on me is not unlike The Bicycle Thief, and its quality on par with other cinematic greats. It is really such shame that this film does not get the exposure it deserves.
|External reviews||Plot keywords||Main details|
|Your user reviews||Your vote history|